The Mormons







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Chapter 9 -

Was Joseph Smith the prophet of God?





If we consider the possibility that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, of course the Mormons themselves believe in it. They may regard him as the most important man on Earth after Jesus.

   However, if we look at the life and teachings of Joseph Smith, we see several reasons to believe that he was wrong and a false prophet. This can be proven in the light of the following:


Deceased spirits. Firstly, we should note that Smith was repeatedly dealing with spirits that pretended to be deceased, such as John the Baptist, Jacob, John, Moses, and Elijah. He was given the priesthood of Aaron and Melchizedek and other revelations by them.

   However, it is good to understand that the Bible warns us about dealing with deceased spirits that are, as a matter of fact, evil spirits. Even if these spirits were to appear as apostles and good spirits, there is reason to believe that they are evil spirits. The Apostles of God would certainly not break His commandments, nor would they start giving new teachings. Instead, the deceased and seer spirits – in other words evil spirits with whom Smith must have been in connection – can do things like this:


- (Lev 19:31) Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God.


- (Deut 18:10-12) There shall not be found among you any one that makes his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that uses divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11  Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12  For all that do these things are an abomination to the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD your God does drive them out from before you.


Doctrine. The teachings of Joseph Smith differ from the ordinary teachings of Christianity, which means that he has numerous teachings that have nothing to do with the Bible (polytheism, etc.). We have already proven this in the earlier chapters. One reason probably is that he was in connection with the above-mentioned evil spirits and angels, through whom he got his new teachings. One characteristic of false prophets is indeed that they teach doctrines which differ from the word of God and receive revelations from angels that, however, are not angels of God:


- (Gal 1:8-9) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

9  As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed.


- (2 Peter 2:1) But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.


- (1 John 4:1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.


The life of Smith. When studying the life of Joseph Smith, we cannot understand how he could have in any way been an example for others. For example, he shot two men during the latter part of his life and had a very bad reputation that resulted in 1834 in 62 residents of the town signing an petition in which they complained about immoral behavior of his family and stated that they should no longer enjoy the appreciation of society anywhere.

   The persona of Smith is described by the following statement he said about himself. Has any prophet of God ever spoken like this? This statement clearly shows Smith’s pride and how he considered himself to be of great value:


I have more reasons to boast than anyone ever. I am the only man who has ever been able to keep the whole church together since the times of Adam. Most have stood by my side. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus were able to do it. I boast that nobody has ever done such great work as I have done. The successors of Jesus left him, but the Latter-day Saints have never left me. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, part VI. p.408-409). Translated from the Finnish text.


The unfulfilled prophecies. Joseph Smith is called a prophet, but it is a rather questionable status for him. If we look at his prophecies, we see that his skills of foreseeing future events were not in any way of a very high level. For example, Uuras Saarnivaara has described in his book how Smith gave false prophecies on several occasions:


According to what standards can Joseph Smith be tested?

   The first one is this: Were his prophecies fulfilled?

   We have seen that this usually was not the case.

   Smith declared that the Mormon saints could get a region called Indepence in Jackson County, Missouri, "for everlasting inheritance" (the Doctrine and Covenants 57:5) . However, they only got to be there for a few years. Smith predicted that wars would appear that would start in South Carolina and be shed over all nations (the Doctrine and Covenants 87:1-4). This prophecy did not come true. The civil war, caused by the question of slavery started indeed thirty years later, but the outcome differed a great deal from the prophecy of Joseph Smith.

   Smith prophesied in 1833 that Zion (in Missouri) will not shake in its grounds even though its members will be scattered by harassment of its enemies, and that those who remain – the ones pure at heart – will return and build the ruins of Zion (the Doctrine and Covenants 101:17 ). This never happened but "Zion" was forced to be moved elsewhere.

   In 1834, Smith predicted that the Mormons would immediately start gaining a victory over their enemies and that the scattered would return to their land of inheritance and build the ruins of Zion (the Doctrine and Covenants 103:5 13). This never took place. The Mormons lost and were forced to leave the land of "Zion".

   Smith announced in 1836 that Moses appeared to him and Cowdery, and left them the keys for the gathering of Israel from four parts of the world and for the leading of ten tribes from the Northern country (the Doctrine and Covenants 110:11). Cowdery was expelled from the Mormon Church and Smith lost his life without having anything to do with the gathering of Israel. This took place much later, without any help from the Mormons.

   The same year, Smith announced that the Lord will give the town of Salem into the hands of the Mormons and that there will be treasures of gold and silver in ample measure for them (the Doctrine and Covenants 111). Nothing of the kind took place.

   Smith received a revelation in Nauvoo in 1841 that in a house that will be built there will be a place for him and his descendants from generation to generation forever and ever (the Doctrine and Covenants 124:55 60). Partnerships were also promised to some others in the same house, "from generation to generation". However, they were only allowed to be there for a few years, Smith himself only a very short period.

  These were examples of how the prophecies of Smith, time after time, remained unfulfilled. Some of the things he predicted may also have come true: when someone predicts a lot, sometimes he will accidentally hit the nail on the head. (6)















Jari Iivanainen



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